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LOS ANGELES-MJW Investments has placed its 23-acre, 1.8-million-sf former Sears Distribution Center in Boyle Heights on the market, offering a rare opportunity for developers to acquire a site of such size so close to Downtown. City officials have designated the site of the Downtown L.A. landmark for up to $450 million in redevelopment.

The East Los Angeles site of the 1920s-era Sears distribution center, visible to thousands of drivers passing by on freeways daily, has been designated for development that could include condominiums, apartments and 660,000 sf of stores, offices and restaurant space. The site is mostly vacant except for a Sears retail store and auto center.

Mark Weinstein, president and CEO of MJW Investments, says his company has invested $50 million in the project and has created “a blueprint that will facilitate a smooth transition” for whoever buys the property. He adds, “We’ll stay involved to ensure the project’s success.”

Several firms have approached Weinstein about buying the property, which was developed by Sears in 1927. A master plan was created for the location after some 40 meetings with community members and city officials.

Weinstein is soliciting requests for qualifications from buyers interested in the site, with Richard Rizika and a team at CB Richard Ellis in Torrance handling the sale for MJW. Weinstein’s firm is now focusing on projects that can be completed in one to three years and is expanding outside California to focus on the repositioning of more residential and retail sites, he says.

The renovated complex will continue to house a Sears retail store with upper floors turned into condominiums and commercial space. The new owners would be expected to carry out the city’s and the community’s plan to offer “a pedestrian-friendly environment featuring housing, dining, shopping and entertainment,” according to MJW.

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